2019 Devison Vintners, “Beneath the Stones,” Stoney Vine Vineyard Syrah, $49.75
Winery Info: Halifax native Peter Devison discovered his passion and talent for wine and food after moving to Vancouver, B.C.
Having learned all he could there, he traveled to New Zealand to study enology. In 2004 he arrived in eastern Washington and, after making wine at EFESTE and Cadaretta, launched Devison Vintners in 2020 with his wife, Kelsey Malm Devison. Their goal is to craft small-lot wines with complexity, depth and character that showcase the typicity of Washington’s best vineyards. He uses exclusively native fermentations, which he feels brings more depth, richness, and complexity to his wines.
Winemaker: Peter Devison
Grapes: 100% Syrah
Vineyard: Stoney Vine Vineyard in the Rocks District of Milton Freewater. The ancient riverbed site, with old basalt-based cobblestone soil, is known for producing Syrahs with a signature minerality and touch of savory funk.
Flavor Profile: Elegant, well-structured, and silky smooth, with notes of red fruit, dried herbs, and a hint of the meatiness characteristic of the vineyard—all in perfect balance. A very elegant and nuanced example of Rocks District Syrah.
Availability: This wine should be available for a while.
Drinking Window: Enjoy anytime over the next three to five years.
Food Pairing: Great with lamb dishes, pot roast, or savory vegetable dishes like wild mushroom risotto.
2017 Gramercy Cellars, Lower East Cabernet Sauvignon, $34
Winery Info: Greg Harrington passed the Master Sommelier exam at age 26—the youngest American to accomplish that at the time. After overseeing wine programs at top restaurants in the country, his interests turned to winemaking. In 2005 he moved to Walla Walla and launched Gramercy Cellars. With a focus on Bordeaux- and Rhône-inspired wines, his goal is to produce honest, complex wines that pair well with food. Wines that are “intense, yet restrained; elegant, yet earthy.” His Lower East line features stellar, yet affordable wines from Walla Walla, in the “lower East” corner of the state.
Winemaker: Greg Harrington and Brandon Moss.
Grapes: 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot. Aged 17 months in 32% new French oak puncheons and barrels.
Vineyards: Sourced from some of the top lower East (Walla Walla) vineyards: Phinny Hill, Pepper Bridge, Octave, Loess, and Old Stones.
Flavor Profile: The excellent vineyard sites combine to bring red fruit and gravel (Phinny Hill), blue and black fruit (Pepper Bridge), and complexity and acidity (Octave) to this elegant wine. It’s a classic Cab, with notes of savory herbs, great minerality, and smooth tannins (especially after open a day or two!)
Availability: 2,314 cases produced. This vintage was just released so it should be available for a while.
Drinking Window: Great now, or over the next five years.
Food Pairing: Try it with chimichurri steak, a gourmet burger, or grilled Portobello mushrooms.